Practical Performance Measurement For The Public Sector

Glass half?


The optimist sees the glass as half-full; the pessimist sees the glass as half-empty.

The Performance Measurement consultant sees the glass as exactly twice as big as it needs to be.




Measuring Public Sector Performance presents some unique challenges. Unlike private enterprise, the 'bottom line' is NOT the bottom line when evaluating government and NGO success.

While prudent financial management is still a factor, Public Sector performance is measured by the success of the mission. In other words, did the program or work unit achieve what they set out to do?

This is a key point: Performance reporting is the complementary process to Business Planning. No Public Sector program should launch before they figure out what success looks like. And you measure success by collecting and analyzing performance data.

Why Care About Measuring Performance?

The PRS partners have been working in Public Sector Performance for more than a decade. We are seeing more and more emphasis on measuring results in government (rather than just tracking how successfully they spend the budget.) This means measuring the impacts, benefits and consequences of program and project activities, and thereby justifying the resources used.

Eventually every program and every activity in government will be subject to this scrutiny. You may have heard the expression 'what get's measured, get's done'; however, the paradigm has begun to shift, and the new catch phrase will be 'what gets measured, gets funded'!

Here's a quote from the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) website:

"departments/agencies, including small agencies, are required to adopt new management models for accountability, governance and performance measures"

What does that imply for Performance Reporting in Government of Canada departments and agencies?

Government of Canada Performance Reporting Obligations

Government of Canada departments, agencies and programs must be able to respond to the requirements of the Management, Resources and Results Structure (MRRS) Policy; this structure includes Strategic Outcomes, the Program Activity Architecture (PAA) and the governance of the department/agency.

Three important points about the PAA:

1 – it provides the structure by which planned resource allocations are linked to each activity at all levels and against which financial results are reported;

2 – it provides the framework by which expected results and performance outcomes are linked to each activity at all levels and against which actual results are reported; and

3 – it serves as the basis for resource allocation by Parliament, the Treasury Board, and departmental management.

While changes to the MRRS and PAA may be expected in 2012, the requirement will remain the same: Results are expected at all levels, and must be demonstrated by means of performance reporting and evaluation.

Where do you go from here . . .

Choose from the following public sector performance articles, offer a comment or ask a question using the feedback form below, or contact PRS if you would like some questions answered in person.

Public Sector Performance Measurement from the Manager's Perspective. What is Public Sector Performance Measurement? In reality, all any performance reporting system seeks to do is answer the question “How are we doing”? more . . .

Getting Started. Before you think about getting started with public sector performance measurement, there's a few critical elements that need to be in place. Here's what you need if your performance initiative is going to succeed more . . .

Planning For Performance Measurement. As with any project, planning for Performance Measurement means establishing the conditions necessary for the success of the initiative. Here's some factors to consider when planning your project. more . . .

Best Practices In Performance Measurement. The best practices presented here are taken from our experience working with Public Sector organizations over the last ten years. These are the key elements to creating a practical, sustainable Performance Measurement Framework that will provide valuable management information about your organization. more . . .

Practical Performance Measurement articles - continued here


Challenged By Public Sector Performance? PRS Can Help

Performance Reporting Solutions 2010 Inc. (PRS) are experts in Public Sector Performance. Our partners and associates have a combined experience of many decades helping Public Sector organizations design and implement practical performance reporting regimes.

For a free consultation to find out if PRS can help you, contact PRS Vice President Market Charlie Snelling at 613 744-4084 or use the contact form below.

Contact PRS for more information

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